How to Fix Shutters When Louvers Won’t Stay Open

Fix Shutters When Louvers Won’t Stay Open

Sometimes, over time,  louvers on plantation shutters cease to stay in the position they are set.  Fortunately, there is a simple fix to this problem.

Why does this happen?

Wood is a porous material, even with a finish on it.  This means that it will slightly shrink and swell as the humidity of a room changes.  The is most noticeable during season changes, from winter to spring and summer to fall.  This expansion and contraction changes the amount of space between the louvers and stiles (vertical piece of the shutter) thus changing the amount of tension placed on the louvers to hold them in their set position.

What is the solution?

On many shutters (and always on the Kirtz Shutter) there is a hole in the side of the stile.  Inside this whole is a screw, usually a Phillips head, and a tension system.  By simply using a screw driver and adjusting the head you can tighten or loosen how easy it is to adjust the louvers.   It is important to note:  This adjustment will be 1/4 of a turn to one full turn.  By over-tightening you can strip the screw.

A turn clockwise will tighten, and a turn counterclockwise will loosen.    Remember to adjust the screws on both stiles,  opening side and hinge side.  Many times just adjusting one side will not be enough.

If the solution above does not fix the problem–

In all likelihood the screw that adjusts the tension has been stripped out, and is no longer pulling tighter when you make adjustments.   To fix this you will need the following:

  • Toothpicks (preferably square, but rounded will do)
  • Wood Glue
  • Screw Driver, usually Phillips head

To repair, follow the steps below:

  1. Back the screw out of the shutter stile, set aside
  2. Take several toothpicks and coat with wood glue
  3. Place them inside the hole in the stile
  4. Put the screw back into the stile, and tighten.

The toothpicks give the screw something to grip into, allowing you to tighten an loosen your tension once again.